MA Northern Arizona University, 2019
Haylee Archer’s research focuses on dwarf irregular galaxies. A graduate student of Dr. Deidre Hunter of Lowell Observatory and Dr. Rogier Windhorst of ASU, she studies the dwarf irregular galaxy WLM. She is using observations made with ALMA, Herschel, APEX, and Spitzer, as well as observations obtained by the Hall 1.07m and Perkins 1.8m telescopes at Anderson Mesa, to broaden our understanding of molecular clouds in dwarf irregular galaxies. WLM is low metallicity, Local Group dwarf irregular galaxy making it a good target to address questions about 1) the environments in which star-forming CO clouds form, 2) how “dark” gas, molecular hydrogen gas that lies outside of CO regions, relates to molecular clouds, 3) whether star formation can take place in the outer stellar disks of the galaxy, and 4) the effects of molecular cloud structure on star formation products at low metallicities.
Dwarf galaxies are the most abundant type of galaxy in the universe, and studying molecular clouds in WLM contributes to our knowledge of star formation in these dwarf galaxies and in other low metallicity environments such as those found in the early universe. She grew up on a farm in North Dakota where she fell in love with the darks skies and knew she wanted to study the universe.